Duplicate publication uprooted from plant journal

AJPS2015012714522401The American Journal of Plant Sciences has retracted a duplicate publication — and is considerately describing what happened in a checklist that accompanies the retraction note.

The checklist is similar to one that friend of Retraction Watch Hervé Maisonneuve has proposed to the Committee on Publication Ethics.

The retracted paper shares one author with the paper that it duplicated from: Irfan Talib, whose affiliation is listed on the retracted paper as the University of Agriculture in Pakistan.

Here are the relevant fields on the checklist for “Study of Genetic Diversity in Germplasm of Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in Pakistan” (a PDF on this page includes the checklist and the original paper):

  • Retraction initiative: Other
  • Retraction type: Redundant publication
  • Results of publication: were found to be overall invalid.
  • Author’s conduct: honest error

The “comment” section on the checklist explains:

The paper has already been published in Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences in March 2015 Pak. J. Agri. Sci., Vol. 52(1), 73-77; 201. ISSN (Print) 0552-9034, ISSN (Online) 2076-0906. http://www.pakjas.com.pk/papers/2391.pdf.

Xiawen Deng, an editorial assistant at AJPS, explained how the mistake happened:

Due to lack of contact between supervisor and students, the paper was submitted independently in different journal.

We think guidelines for retraction notices are great, and have seen similar checklists accompanying retracted papers from other journals by Scientific Research Publishing (AJPS among them), ranging in topics from fish oil to GMOs. Impressive, given that Scientific Research Publishing is on Jeffery Beall’s list of predatory publishers.

There’s also a retraction note included on the journal’s website:

This article has been retracted to straighten the academic record. In making this decision the Editorial Board follows COPE’s Retraction Guidelines. The aim is to promote the circulation of scientific research by offering an ideal research publication platform with due consideration of internationally accepted standards on publication ethics. The Editorial Board would like to extend its sincere apologies for any inconvenience this retraction may have caused.

The journal is not indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

We were unable to find contact info for Talib. We’ve reached out to the corresponding authors on both papers, both listed as affiliated with the University of Agriculture in Pakistan: Amir Shakeel, who is first author on the original paper, and Saif Ali, co-author on the retracted paper. We will update this post with anything else we learn.

Hat tip: Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

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